Tusk says EU concerned about political persecution of opposition in Ukraine

Tusk says EU concerned about political persecution of opposition in Ukraine

Any attempt to intimidate opposition members in Ukraine will be a cause for concern in the European Union, European Council President Donald Tusk has said.

He said this at a press conference in Zagreb on Thursday, November 21, while commenting on a wiretapping scandal in Ukraine in which Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Bohdan is allegedly instructing Director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) Roman Truba how to consider proceedings against former President Petro Poroshenko, according to the Priamyi television channel.

"Any attempt to intimidate opposition members will be a cause for concern in the European Union," Tusk said, adding he hopes that "Ukraine will remain a country where law enforcement and judicial agencies respect the rule of law and where there is no room for politically motivated persecution."

Tusk, who was elected the leader of the European People's Party on November 20, also said that he had heard about a wiretapping scandal in Kyiv: "I heard about this potential scandal. Although I do not have information about particular details or the general context, my first impression is that this is really dangerous."

In addition, Tusk, whose party is in opposition to the government in Poland, said he personally knew what political persecution really means. "Believe me, I know what I'm saying because I have my own experience on this matter. [...] Whenever the power or people in power use the justice system against political opponents, this will in any case - in the medium term or in the long run - be a tragedy not only for victims of persecution but for the whole country."

Tusk added that he is following developments in Kyiv: "You know how many emotions and thoughts we have invested in Ukraine. I think I don't need to explain how I personally experienced everything that is happening in Ukraine. We are always watching events in Kyiv very closely."


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